Today is World AIDS Day. AIDS has impacted many people we know and many communities of which we are part. Since I write a parenting blog, however, I want to highlight some recent statistics about AIDS and children. The numbers, of course, don't capture the personal stories, the parents who must watch their children die, and the children left orphaned, but the data is devastating in its own way:
- According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 2.1 million children under 15 among the 33.4 million people living with HIV. The number and percentage of children is down from last year (2.5 out of 33.2 million), but is still a staggering number.
- In 2008, around 430,000 children were born with HIV from mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). [The international AIDS charity Avert notes that about 90% of the MTCT infections occurred in Africa, "where AIDS is beginning to reverse decades of steady progress in child survival." They have a great page of information about MTCT, covering prevention, care, and various initiatives. Well worth a read.]
- In 2008, only 38% of children in need of treatment in low-and middle income countries received it.
- Young people (under 25) account for around 40% of all new adult (15+) HIV infections worldwide.
- Sub-Saharan Africa is the region most affected and is home to 67% of all people living with HIV worldwide and 91% of all new infections among children.
- In sub-Saharan Africa the epidemic has orphaned more than 14 million children.
After the jump, a slide show from UNAIDS with more sobering statistics.